Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? Romans 11:35
Yesterday’s devotional brought so much mail! I’m not alone in having felt enslaved by a debt. Some of you shared that you are trying to pay back an emotional debt you never asked to assume. Others of you borrowed money from a friend or family member and you can’t wait until you make your last payment. The unexpected relational toll has been way too expensive.
To give a gifts with no strings is rare. Our need to be larger than life can cause us to give to others with an expectation for ego stroking. We want to be the hero. The greater we sacrifice, the bigger the hero we get to be! What gets in the way though, is the recipient’s unwillingness to cooperate with our emotional extortion. God is not like us. And His gift is truly priceless.
- When man gives a sacrificial gift, sometimes he never lets you forget it. When God gives a sacrificial gift, He gives us the freedom to forget it but hopes we won’t. He doesn’t have an ego to feed.
- Man can punish when he perceives ingratitude by withdrawing his love when he doesn’t get back what he thinks he deserves. God hopes we’ll worship Him in return for the great gift of His Son but loves us even when we don’t.
- Man can keep talking about his gift, keeping us on his hook for perpetual praise. God tells us that we owe no debt. Jesus paid it all.
I love the way God gives. Once I’ve tasted the freedom He offers me, I can see my enslavement to others. What would happen if I stop the cycle and refuse to enable their addiction to praise? Yes, they gave a gift. I humbly said ‘thank you’. Beyond that, I should not be enslaved emotionally to someone who gives or withholds love depending on whether or not I will feed their narcissism. This is not of God and He will not share His glory with anyone.
You love our gratitude but not our servitude. I love the gift of You, Jesus, but can’t possibly repay you. I thank you with my life. Amen